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Dirty Pretty Songs – Virginia Gay

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Dirty Pretty Songs (Adelaide Cabaret Festival)
on Saturday 23 June 2012
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Article safeword: POODLE

Virginia Gay - Dirty Pretty Songs

Virginia Gay – Dirty Pretty Songs. Image by Blueprint Studios

Best known for her commercial exploits in Australian television dramas All Saints and Winners & Losers, Virgina Gay seems to belong on the stage. Her show, Dirty Pretty Songs, is classic cabaret, and a prime example of the energy, music and comedy which brings audiences back to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival year after year after year.

She begins her cabaret show with a disclaimer: “The opinions and beliefs expressed in this performance do not reflect the beliefs of a mainstream television network I may or may not work for”. Dirty Pretty Songs is the real Virgina Gay. We explore the dirt in pretty songs and the result is hilarious!

From the raunchy ‘Come Said the Boy’ through to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, Virginia Gay doesn’t have to search far to find the dirt. The Beatles’ ‘Why Don’t We Do It in the Road’ is an obvious choice for this show.

Gay’s voice is exceptional. Her incredible vocal range allows unmatched musical variety, and her stage presence and performance is confident. But her interaction with the audience is the most fascinating aspect of this show. A mention must go to audience members Russ and Erica who performed in good humour and heightened the entertainment value of Dirty Pretty Songs so well that it is hard to believe they weren’t plants.

While some audience members were spontaneously shouting “Oh My God I LOVE YOU”, others found the excitement of a sex collar a little too much – one gentleman called out “POODLE” to which Virginia Gay calmly replied: “you’re welcome to leave dear, but we’ll all continue just here”.

The lady with the best name in showbiz was backed by a wonderful three-piece band. In an attempt to increase her Google hits, the band was named ‘Virginia Gay’s Threesome’, but I preferred ‘Virginia Gay and The Gay Abandons’. More punch in the bass guitar could have further heightened the shows energy.

Her final number was a twist on the theme: a dirty song sung pretty. An operatic interpretation of Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’ left the audience even more amazed by Virginia Gay’s vocal abilities. Dirty Pretty Songs is a perfect reminder of why we love cabaret.

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Rowan has written 56 articles on AussieTheatre
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